WINZ culture no better than ACC’s
WINZ culture no better than
An institutional culture of cost saving has lead WINZ to the same strategy of disentitlement as ACC, said the Green Party today.
WINZ are reviewing existing invalid and sickness beneficiaries with well-documented medical conditions for no other reason than because they are seen to be high cost. Designated doctors are assigned, trained and audited by WINZ. The same doctors can sit on Medical Appeal Boards.
“WINZ beneficiaries told us they watched last week’s 60mins documentary on ACC in absolute horror. They are saying to us that the trauma they are experiencing with WINZ current practises of reviews and medical assessments mirror what they saw ACC clients going through, “Green Party income support spokesperson Jan Logie said.
“Imagine having a mental or physical debilitative illness and having to deal with an institution that treats you as if you're making it up, even with a medical certificate.
Jan Logie said medical assessments must be independent and systems must be in place to guarantee justifiable entitlements.
The amount of money spent by the Medical Appeals Authority who have been requested to review decisions where benefits had been declined trebled in one year of this Government coming to power and continued to increase until figures suddenly disappeared from public scrutiny in 2010
“We all need to know if we are unable to work for medical reasons we can still survive. People should be treated with the respect they deserve. This is a fundamental social contract and ensures all New Zealanders who are unable to work for sound medical reason have a fair future.
“Ms Rebstock’s commitment to culture change at ACC following her appointment as chair must follow through to her board role at WINZ.
“Given the seriousness of our findings the Green Party is calling for an urgent review into the review process for Invalid and sickness beneficiaries, said Ms Logie